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5 The wonderful solvent water

The wonderful solvent water

5. 1

Importance of water

1 We need water to survive and to carry out daily activities.

5.2

Making water safe to drink

1 Natural water contains different types of impurities:

soluble impurities;

insoluble impurities;

micro-organisms.

2 Two common micro-organisms found in natural water:

E. coli (x19 000)

Amoeba (x160)

3 Methods of water purification:


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5 The wonderful solvent water

a Sedimentation

Large and heavy solids settle at the bottom of the water. The layer of impurities settled
is called sediment.

fine solids floating


on water

fine solids
suspending in
water

sediment

Adding alum can help remove the fine solid impurities suspending in water.

b Filtration

Can remove solid impurities in water.

Cannot remove micro-organisms and soluble impurities.

Filter columns and filter papers are filters commonly used in the laboratory.

The liquid that passes through the filter is called filtrate.

The solids that remain in the filter is called residue.

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5 The wonderful solvent water

pond water

fine sand
coarse sand
rock chips

pond water

small stones
cotton

filter paper
filter funnel

filtrate

filtrate
Using filter column

Using filter paper

c Distillation

Can remove all the soluble impurities, insoluble impurities and micro-organisms in
water.

water out
thermometer

Steam passes through the condenser, cools


down and condenses to liquid water.

condenser

pond water

water in

round-bottom flask

Water is boiled to steam. Impurities are

The liquid obtained is called

left behind in the flask.

distillate or distilled water.

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4 Summary of the impurities removed by different methods of water purification:

Method of
water
purification

Types of impurities removed


Insoluble impurities

Soluble
impurities

Micro-organisms

Large and heavy solids

Fine solids

Sedimentation

Filtration

Distillation

5 Other methods for killing micro-organisms in water:

Chlorination

Adding ozone

Using ultra-violet light

Boiling

Chlorine water is corrosive

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A drinking fountain using ultra-violet light


to sterilize water

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5 The wonderful solvent water

6 In Hong Kong, fresh water comes from the Dong Jiang and from rainwater.

7 In Hong Kong, the water treatment process involves sedimentation, filtration,


chlorination and fluoridation.

The treatment process in water treatment works:

alum and lime added

rapid mix chamber

flocculation tank:
sedimentation takes
place here

filtration tank

naturalwat
er

sediment disposal

screen to remove
large solids

clean water chamber

distribution system

water pumping

station

fluoride added to chlorine added to kill


help prevent tooth micro-organisms
decay

9 All the water treatment works in Hong Kong are run by the Water Supplies Department.

5. 3
1

The water cycle

When water particles absorb enough heat energy, they move more quickly. They finally
escape from the water surface to become water vapour. This process is called evaporation.

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When the water vapour cools down, the water particles move more slowly. They stick
together to form water droplets. This process is called condensation.

The main processes in the water cycle:

Condensation

Raining
Transportation

The sun heats up the


seas, rivers and land.

Warm air carries water


vapour up to the sky

Evaporation

Some water becomes


underground water

The water cycle

Water gathers in rivers


and returns to the sea

The rate of evaporation of water is higher when:

the speed of air is higher;

the temperature is higher;

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plastic wrap

the surface area of the object exposed to air is


larger;

hot water

hot water

the humidity is lower.

closed container

5 .4

Water conservation and pollution

Fresh water is a precious resource. We must conserve water.

Ways of saving water at home:

Take a shower instead of a bath.

Wash vegetables in a basin of water. Do not rinse vegetables under a running tap.

Fix dripping taps immediately.

Turn off the tap while brushing teeth.

Follow the 3 Rs principle of waste management,


i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle.
3R

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Recycling bins

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Causes and effects of water pollution:

Cause

Effect on human and environment

Sewage from homes and


restaurants contains
detergents

Phosphates in detergents promote the growth of algae


and may lead to a red tide.

Sewage from farms


contains fertilizers

Phosphates in fertilizers promote the growth of algae.

Sewage from homes and


farms contains human
and animal waste

The waste may carry harmful micro-organisms. Eating


seafood contaminated with these micro-organisms can
cause food poisoning.

Sewage from factories


contains toxic chemicals

The toxic chemicals may contaminate seafood and cause


food poisoning.

Solid waste

Sea animals die when they eat the waste or get trapped in
it.

Oil from spills

Oil floats on water and blocks air from going into the
water. Fish and other sea animals die due to a lack of
oxygen.

Seabirds die of hunger as their feathers are stuck by oil


and cannot fly.

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The Hong Kong government controls water pollution by:

treating the sewage in sewage treatment works run by the Drainage Services
Department;

introducing the Sewage Services Charging Scheme under the Polluter Pays
Principle;

c treating waste water that contains harmful chemicals in the chemical waste treatment

plant;

passing laws to control discharge of sewage.

5 .5

Dissolving

1 When a solute dissolves in a solvent, a solution is formed.

salt (solute)

dissolving

salt solution

water (solvent)

2 Water is a good solvent but it cannot dissolve everything.

3 When no more solute can dissolve in a solvent, a saturated solution is formed.

4 Different substances have different solubilities in a solvent.


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5 The rate of dissolving of a solute is higher when:

the temperature of the solvent is higher;

the solute pieces are smaller in size;

the solution is stirred.

5 .6

Growing crystals

Crystals can be formed by cooling down a hot saturated solution. The formation of crystals
in a solution is called crystallization.

Crystals have regular shapes and smooth surfaces.

Crystals of the same kind may have different sizes but their shapes are the same.

Crystals of different substances may have different colours and shapes.

Method of growing crystal

saturated
Cooling downhota hot
copper
saturated solution sulphate
quicklysolution

The crystal formed


Size

Shape

Smaller

Same

cavity slide

a well-shaped
Cooling down
a hot
crystal as seed
saturated solution
slowly

Larger

hot saturated

solution

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5 The wonderful solvent water

5 .7

Solvents other than water

Oils are insoluble in water but they are soluble in other solvents like alcohol, nail varnish
remover, thinner and dry-cleaning liquid.

We must take precautions when handling solvents other than water.

Alcohol

Flammable

Read the hazard warning labels before using the solvents

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